Roberto González Goyri
Painter, sculptor, muralist (1924 – 2007)

Roberto Gonzalez Goyri is considered one of the greatest  artists of the generation of the 1940’s. He initiated a movement that greatly impacted the panorama of the visual arts, as it breached a new opening in twentieth-century modern art in Guatemala.

In addition to being a painter, he also worked as a sculptor and muralist. Among his public works are: murals of the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security (IGSS), the west façade of the Bank of Guatemala, the east façade of the Mortgage Credit National building,  all  part of the Cultural Patrimony of Guatemala (189-20140).

In sculpture and painting he produced a large number of works found in institutions and private collections. His work was characterized by being essentially semi-figurative, i.e., it always took into account a process of abstraction.


  • National Academy of Fine Arts of Guatemala.
  • Arts Students League
  • Clay Club Sculpture Center, New York.


In Guatemala he held more than twenty solo exhibitions in addition to participating in multiple group exhibitions, from 1947 to his last show in life in 2007, a few days before his death.

Abroad, he presented his work individually at Roko Gallery, New York; Organization of American States, OAS, Washington D.C.; The Gallery in Quito, Ecuador and Alexis Gallery in San Salvador.

In 2003, a solo exhibition took place at the Ixchel Museum of Textile in Guatemala City, along with the Presentation of his book, which documents his work in sculpture, painting and public work. It includes historical photographs, a list of personal exhibitions and a bibliography of his writings.


The Unknown Political Prisoner, London 1953. His work is among the 80 finalists. This distinction earned him a cash prize and the exhibition of his model at the Tate Gallery.

In 1955, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired the sculpture in bronze, "Wolf's Head".

In 1961 he was awarded with the Order of the Quetzal in the rank of officer, by the President Julio César Méndez Montenegro.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, he participated in several painting and sculpture competitions, at the Central American level, where he won seven awards, six of which were sculptures.

In 1978 he received the Emeretissimun diploma from the Faculty of Humanities of the University of San Carlos in Guatemala, the merit is shared with the artist Dagoberto Vásquez Castañeda.

In 1986, he won an honorable mention for the work "The Secret Chest" at the I Ibero-American Painting Biennial in Miami. A year later, he received a mention with the painting "The Old Castle" at the International Art Competition of New York.

In 2002, the Municipality of Guatemala paid tribute to him for his brilliant trajectory in the field of visual arts, which has been reflected in multiple works that are already part of Guatemala's cultural heritage and patrimony.

In February 2006, the Valle University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate Cause in the branch of Humanities, being the highest distinction conferred by this house of studies.

Public Work                                        

Among the main works for public spaces located at different points of Guatemala City are:

Three concrete murals on display located in the Civic Center of the city of Guatemala: Banco de Guatemala, Guatemalan Institute of Social Security and National Mortgage Credit. (1959-1964).

Monument to Tecún Umán, 6.5 meters high, on Liberation Boulevard (1964).

Pictorial mural 30 meters long x 2.70 meters high for the Museum National Institute of Mayan Art, Archaeology and Ethnology. (1992).

Design of the Venetian-style mosaic mural on the Calzada Los Próceres (1999).

Mural project for the exterior façade of the Institute's Auditorium Guatemalan Social Security IGGS-, designed to be carried out in Venetian-style mosaic on Social Security in Guatemala (2007).


His work is represented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Museum of Art of the Americas, Washington D.C., Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami; Port Royal Library, Paris; Plaza Guatemala in Nicaragua; Museum Carlos Mérida National Museum of Modern Art, Guatemala; as well as collections inside and outside Guatemala.

Roberto González Goyri was a prolific artist. Over more than 60 years of tireless artistic trajectory, he always said that his masterpiece would be the next thing I would do.

With serious health problems, at the age of 82, he presented his last exhibition "Between Passion and Wonder" on the Hotel's Museum Walk Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Guatemala, November 10, 2007. Three days later he passed away at home, leaving behind an important legacy in muralist, pictorial and sculptural work for the enjoyment of Guatemala and the world.

Durante la ejecución del monumento a Tecún Umán, 1964
González Goyri junto a una de sus esculturas
Roberto González Goyri